The Must-Have Buying Guide for Purchasing Personalized Jewelry

February 20, 2018

The Must-Have Buying Guide for Purchasing Personalized Jewelry

Looking to buy a piece of personalized jewelry that will last but confused about all the different materials and prices? Not sure how to tell if you're buying a quality piece of jewelry or where to buy it?  

If you're looking for a meaningful gift or want to honor a loved one or commemorate an important life event, this Buying Guide for Personalized Jewelry is a must-have...

The Must-Have Buying Guide for Purchasing Personalized Jewelry

Your daughter is graduating from college and you want to get her and her friends a piece of jewelry to remind them of their connection and their time together at school.  Or maybe you want a piece of jewelry for you and your sister with your late father's handwriting so you can both find some sort of comfort after his passing. These are both life-changing events and the loved ones you're wanting to honor and the achievement you are celebrating... well, these gifts are really important. They are more than just a piece of jewelry. Emotions are running high and the jewelry you are looking to purchase has left you overwhelmed. That's where this guide comes in... 

handwriting jewelry


Below are 7 questions to ask when purchasing personalized jewelry. Although we can't answer them for you, this guide will point you in the right direction and hopefully give you the necessary information to make your buying experience a pleasant and successful one.

Question #1: How long do you want your jewelry to last? Are you looking for an heirloom piece made to be handed down or piece of fashion jewelry made for a season? 

The first thing to do is determine your budget. Are you looking to spend less than $50 on each item, between $50-$200 or make an investment in a solid gold piece?  If you can afford gold filled, it won't tarnish like the pieces under $50 but it's not as valuable as solid gold.

Another thing to consider is handmade vs. manufactured. Most manufactured jewelry (made overseas) is cast from a mold and made of an alloy metal such as brass, then plated. This "mass produced" jewelry is less quality and typically less pricey. However, jewelry prices don't always reflect the quality - there's something called 'perceived value' which really puts jewelry pricing all over the map. You want to make sure you are getting 'fair value.' If you're shopping online and it doesn't state what metal the piece is made of...ask! 

As I mentioned, there are jewelry companies out there selling plated jewelry for $200 - just make sure you know the difference between plated jewelry, gold filled jewelry and solid gold jewelry. Here's a better explanation regarding the different materials:

If you're looking to purchase handmade jewelry, consider the time and effort of an expert metalsmith that goes into making each unique piece. To sum it up, if you can afford solid gold, that's your best bet followed by gold filled. If you purchase gold plated jewelry, the piece won't last after one wear in the shower. Who wants the memories they go through the trouble and cost to preserve only to fade or wash away within a short time?  


The modern bazaar shop


Question #2:  What type of jewelry? a necklace? ring? or bracelet?

The amount of text for the inscription will dictate which piece is best... There's not much you can fit on a 2"x.25" bar necklace. Maybe a bracelet is best if you have a lot of text? You can fit a lot more on a cuff bracelet vs. a leather bracelet. Or a wide band ring vs. a thin stacking ring. 

Question #3:  What material do you want?

Again, your budget will help dictate the material... if your budget is under $50, stainless or copper is your best bet vs. sterling silver or rose gold filled. Not sure what metal is best when gifting? Take a peek at the recipient's watch. It's always a safe bet to match the same metal as their everyday watch. It's also okay to mix your metals these days, so don't be afraid if something speaks to you.

square rings different metals

Question #4: What look or style? Daintyevery day or chunky statement?

This will help solidify the decision you made in #2. Ask yourself about the recipient's lifestyle. Are they/you active? Have small children? What do they wear to work? Is this a piece they won't ever want to take off? If so, you'll want to make sure you don't buy plated jewelry. If you're buying "staple" jewelry, you'll want a more dainty piece in a metal like gold filled or sold gold that can be worn in the shower and layered with other pieces. 

If this is a piece that they won't wear daily, consider something with a little color - a leather bracelet or even a gemstone bracelet. Want options?  Our interchangeable bracelets allow you to switch it up for those that can't make up their mind! 

interchangeable bracelets the modern bazaar

Question #5:  How do you want it personalized? Handwriting, photo, coordinates, name, date, etc? 

Now that you have the piece of jewelry selected, what to put on it? Are you wanting to use a loved one's handwritten note or your own handwriting? or do you want to stick to a computerized font? Is it a location you want to remember? Maybe where you were married, had your first child, met your best friend, your childhood home, graduated from college? Perhaps you want your new monogram or your baby's new name? Your wedding date in Roman numerals or your sorority's Greek letters?

Question #6:  Do you want your piece Hand stamped or engraved? see my previous blog post:

Question #7:  Do you want to work with a designer? See a proof? Select your own fonts? How much involvement do you want to have? 

Working with the designer directly ensures there are no surprises and what you have in your head is what you receive. When ordering a piece of handwriting jewelry or a custom piece, it's best to work with the designer so you can ask questions, get their opinion and see a proof prior to purchasing so you can make any necessary revisions. Each handwriting image is different and due to the many variables such as photo quality, layout options, etc. there's a lot that can be vague or assumed. A picture is truly worth a thousand words and well worth having the conversations!  


Our goal is to take the guess-work out of ordering personalized jewelry online. We are currently in the process of implementing new technology to improve our customer's experience, so stay tuned!

Not sure about something?  No problem... we are here to help answer any questions you might have about how to purchase personalized jewelry and look forward to working with you to create your special piece. 

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